The Ark

Why does God give measurements to a thing or matter in a particular way? And, why are His instructions perfect to the believing? It is often noticed in the Bible of how God instructed His servants His will and plan. He told them what He wanted and they performed. In the days of Noah, before the flood waters engulfed the whole earth, God called Noah to execute His will and plan upon the corrupted generation of mankind. He instructed Noah to build an ark that would lodge his household and as many animals, beasts and birds as He knew were required for sustaining His creation after the flood. Even the animals and birds had to be in sevens and twos; for God instructed this. The ark that Noah was told to build was no ordinary one, not only because of its size, but primarily of the way God required Noah to build it. Noah built the ark for God. Every matter and thing related to the construction of the ark was detailed to Noah. There was not a part of the ark that Noah built basing on his own discretion. For he could not, since the understanding he possessed was not about executing his own discretion, but to carry out the plan that God availed before him. The ark was completed and God’s plan and will was executed to perfection.

Similarly, when the time came that atonement for Israel had to be made that they may continue as a nation of God, God called Moses and said “and you shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide; the altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits” (Exod. 27:1). God’s measurements came as instruction to Moses. There could be other measurements that God could have chosen to instruct Moses. However, they were given after of the true one. This true one is in heaven whose measurements are also according to God’s will. God gives measurements for a thing or matter in a particular way for the sake of His people. And His measurements are perfect to them, since they provide them to seek a place in His house. To the believing it is plain: “because God instructed, His instructions are perfect.” This amounts to no questioning or grumbling. Belief in God is the only way to obey His every instruction; a belief that tells us that God always worked for our good. Such a belief occurs by the manner God communicates with His children to guide them. When God called Noah to build an ark, his salvation from death was embedded in His call. It came to fulfillment by his belief in God that told him to refuse disobeying or seeking to question His motive. His belief in God was so intense that he would have performed any instruction coming from Him. His obedience is understood in that he alone was found righteous and blameless in his time. Many were the instructions of God to Noah concerning the ark, and he obeyed them all. He believed that God has goodness for him and his household. In the end, he along with his household alone became the glory of God’s plan. He neither saw the flood before nor the manner in which it would appear. Still, he was satisfied to obey, since he believed in God. The instruction of God was enough for his belief to hope in the result. Therefore, though he had not yet seen the substance to come, by faith he served God and was saved.

So when God instructed measurements to Moses concerning the altar, it became the source for Israel’s atonement. What the instruction of God gives us is the guarantee about Him that He does everything for a purpose. The measurements became very important to Moses only because they were from the Almighty. He believed in His instructions, because of the knowledge he had about God’s goodness toward His people. What was the outcome? Moses’ obedience in building the altar made possible the atonement of Israel’s sins for as long as they believed in Him. They escaped death. God continued to work on their behalf. Any distance that was created between God and Israel for any reason was removed by the work performed on the altar. God constantly took note of His people. Their obedience to the Lord produced in them healthy fear toward Him. This fear, an effect of belief, always produces effective results for God. “He did away with the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah and in the surrounding area of Jerusalem, also those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations and to all the host of heaven” (2 Kings 23:5).

Obeying God’s instructions saves men from anything that separates them from Him. No matter the era, how evident is the result that comes by heeding God’s instruction! Whether it was Noah, Moses or a king like Josiah when they understood the reason for God giving instructions for a thing or matter, they were saved. They understood the power in God’s instruction that removes every hurdle. Every hurdle removed is for one result i.e. to save the righteous from death. It is for this reason alone that God gave instructions in a particular way.

However, death still controls many present day churches. The obvious reason being their disobedience to God’s instructions. Because they do not possess proper belief, they could not measure the length, breadth and depth of His instructions. Burning incense to God was a right thing for Israel, but to burn it at a place not ordained by God was utterly sinful. Similarly, many churches are preaching Christ, but not in the Spirit and wisdom of God. Therefore, they have lost the will and plan of God resulting in many misnomers. Each one is speaking of God, His Son and His Spirit by what God has not instructed. Some have even counted the work and influence of the Spirit as redundant for the present days. In doing so, they have lost the only avenue through which God now communicates with His people to guide them. The word without the influence of the Spirit will not produce results. Still, there are churches like the Israel that burned incense to the sun, moon, the constellations and all the hosts of heaven in that they incorporate every principle of this world in the teachings of God. This they do to make peace with the world that they may find respite.

Christians ought to realize that it is only when God’s instructions are obeyed that their belief in Him has the hope to see the unseen bringing glory to God. “It became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:42). Peter was nobody, even lower than most, until belief in Christ took its place in him. What he became for the kingdom of God was beyond anyone could have imagined in those days, even to us who now are able to perceive his walk for Jesus. He was not like the churches of the present days. In fact, he was exactly their opposite. Did he not possess the instructions of God? The Spirit of God always availed them to him. But, he is different to the present churches in that he not only received the word from the Spirit, but also the wisdom pertaining to it. What the many present churches have is the word, but not the wisdom in it. For this reason, they are without the only avenue through which God now communicates with His people to guide them. Without His guidance no man or church is able to distinguish between the incense burned on the altar and incense burned on high places, between performing the word and performing it in the Spirit. They seem one and the same to them. Are they not worshipping God? They appear to be, but with what substance? Yet, Peter’s substance was belief in Christ. Because he believed in Christ, he obeyed the instruction of God, which said “this is My Son, My chosen One; listen to Him.” He has seen the unseen – the salvation, the power and the works of God. This is God’s goodness toward His people. Have you grasped it? How simple belief appears to the mouth and yet, how far away it is to those who have not obtained its source!

For this reason, Paul boldly said “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel” (Rom. 9:6). Not all that claim to be Christians belong to Christ. And the word of God cannot fail, because of those that obeyed the instruction of God. Whether the present churches believe, the word of God is victorious because of the people it begets. And, if you are like me, you would believe the word that elsewhere said “God is able to raise up children to Abraham even from these stones.” How profound is the power of God! For God is able to gather the wise of heart that seek to do away with every disobedience and turn them into the church of His Son, Jesus Christ “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

Ah, the wisdom and knowledge that are in Christ and how their treasures are the source for believing God! Know this one fact: all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ. They are hidden from those who do not obey. When Noah, Moses and Josiah obeyed the instruction of God, life was revealed to them. Since they through belief obeyed God that revealed Christ, they escaped death. You too can obey Christ that revealed God and escape death, if you believe. Whether it was they or us it is belief that leads us to obey His instruction. Recollect the words of Jesus to His disciples concerning parables. The meaning of parables is granted to whom it has been given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom. It was given to them, since they obeyed Christ. And, Christ granted them all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. As you begin to possess His instruction and become His disciple, you too will be granted every wisdom and knowledge pertaining to the Kingdom. His instructions shall be perfect for you. For this to take place Christ ascended upward that God may send His Spirit downward upon you. Yet, he who cannot accept this is like a man that deludes himself – “for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was” (Jam. 1:24).

Posted in 2011, Archives.